AUBURN — Best Buy, the retail electronics giant, will close its Auburn store in late October.

A Best Buy public relations official confirmed the closure Friday, saying the store at 649 Turner St. across from the Auburn Mall will close after business hours on Saturday, Oct. 28.

“It is never an easy decision to not renew a store lease,” said Boua Xiong, public relations officer for Best Buy Co. “Ultimately, this was a business decision and has no reflection on our (staff) or the work they have done. We did, however, renew our lease in Augusta, a larger store that can better serve our customers.”

Like many large retail chains, Best Buy has been closing stores in response to more customers preferring to shop online.   

However, Best Buy has been closing locations at a much slower rate than other big boxes such as Sears and Macy’s. Best Buy has closed only about 20 stores since 2014. In May, the company reported better-than-expected revenue and profit for the first quarter of 2017. 

In Maine, the company closed its Topsham store in 2016. Stores remain in South Portland, Augusta and Bangor.

“We look at every lease that comes up for renewal and will close a small number of stores from time to time,” Xiong said. “That said, we have not closed stores en masse like other retailers.” 

At its peak in 2012, the electronics giant had about 1,103 stores nationwide; it’s now at 1,035. The company also operates mobile stand-alone stores, and has stores in Canada and Mexico. 

Xiong said the Auburn store employs 26 people full time and has some part-time employees. She said Best Buy works hard to keep “as many employees as possible but we know in this case that location may make it difficult.”

“All permanent full-time and part-time employees who do not stay with us, either by choice or because there isn’t a position available, will receive a severance package,” she said. 

The store is in a retail hub near other big retailers, including Kohl’s, Big Lots and Kmart. 

An email to Auburn economic development staff requesting comment was not answered Friday. 

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Best Buy in Auburn will close Oct. 28, the company confirmed Friday.

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